A Field Experiment on Gamification of Code Quality in Agile Development

Christian R. Prause; Jan Nonnen; Mark Vinkovits

Internal quality of software reduces development costs in the long run but is often neglected by developers. CollabReview, a web-based reputation system for improving the quality of collaboratively written source code, was introduced into an agile development team. The goal was to improve the quality of developed source code as evidenced by the amount of code entities furnished with Javadoc comments. A money prize as an extrinsic reward and peer-pressure in form of a published ranking table were tied to reputation scores. We report on the conduction of a field experiment, our observations and experiences, and relate the results to answers from concluding interviews. Although the gamification had less effect than we had hoped, our experiment teaches valuable lessons about social effects and informs the future design of similar systems.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2012 - 24th Annual Workshop
Publication Year: 2012
Paper #: 17
TitleA Field Experiment on Gamification of Code Quality in Agile Development
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsPrause, CR, Nonnen, J, Vinkovits, M
PPIG Workshop: 
2012-11-24th